Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wishing for Spring!

We're getting a little tired of winter around here! I hope spring comes soon! 

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Phoenix's Solo Adventure!

Since Zoe hurt her paw at the park last week, we've been resting her. She seems fine now but I'm not taking any chances and I'm continuing the rest for a few more days. Thanks to everyone who have asked about her!

I spent quite a lot of time this past summer working on separation training with my two dogs so Zoe is happy to stay home and nap while I take Phoenix out. Phoenix is medium to high energy and she really needs an outlet for it. This week we've gone on a few solo adventures and it was so fun to spend some one on one time with her.

A video posted by Lauren Miller (@zoepheedogs) on

One of Phoenix's favorite things to do is play on kid playgrounds. She loves sliding down the slide! So this was a huge reward for her after walking so nicely on a loose leash (at least one of my dogs can!).

A video posted by Lauren Miller (@zoepheedogs) on

After the slide, Phoenix found these little cut outs and she jumped through both of them without being cued. She did it completely on her own! I had to take a video, so the video is set up so you can see.

Phoenix and I had a great time on our adventures and Zoe was fine staying home. I highly recommend spending one on one time with each of your dogs if you have a multi-dog household. It's very eye opening. Phoenix is perfect on leash without her sister influencing her. She didn't care about any of the critters running around and she was really good. It's really fascinating how two dogs walking together can egg each other on and cause problems. I love having a multiple dogs, don't get me wrong but it's nice to get out with just one sometimes!

Happy Fit Dog Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Earthbath Shed Control Shampoo & Conditioner Review

Shed Control Shampoo and Conditioner

Hi everyone, I hope you're all having a fantastic day! Today we have a review for you on some fantastic grooming products! Both of my dogs think that baths are ridiculous and not fun so please ignore the tragic photos. Zoe is fine and not abused, I promise.

I definitely don't do stinky dogs so the girls are bathed pretty often, especially after romps at the park we go to because they get muddy and stinky. Since the dogs are bathed so regularly it's very important to me to find brands of shampoo and conditioner that are gentle but also able to get the job done. I was really excited when Earthbath contacted me about reviewing some of their products! We were sent shampoo, conditioner and their ear wipes in exchange for an honest review.

Earthbath was founded in 1995 and their products have been developed and manufactured in California with only the safest, finest ingredients from nature. Earthbath has grown from four shampoos to a comprehensive line of totally natural shampoos, wipes, spritzes, and grooming foams that are sold around the world!

Earthbath products are cruelty free and contain no animal ingredients or byproducts. All of their products are made with the highest quality human-grade ingredients.

I chose the Shed Control Shampoo and Conditioner. Shedding is always a thing around here and products that can help reduce it are definitely a plus. Earthbath has blended the finest antioxidants and skin moisturizers found in nature. These products do not contain any soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes or perfumes, SLS/SLES, phthalates, or enzymes and they are animal cruelty free. Even the sudsy runoff is safe and is harmless to plants!

Ingredients Include: Purified water, renewable plant-derived & coconut-based cleansers, organic shea butter, omega-6 fatty acids, green tea leaf extract, aloe vera, panthenol, D-biotin, phytic acid, glycerin, allantoin, extracts of ginseng & awapuhi, natural preservative.

The shampoo lathers really well. I generally put a line of shampoo down the back and sides and scrub it in with my rubber zoom groom brush, then I add a few sprays of water to get it to lather even more and then continue brushing with the rubber brush. I always wash my dogs twice and condition once.

Ingredients Include: Purified water, vegetable-derived conditioner and detangler, organic shea butter, omega-6 fatty acids, aloe vera, amino acids, allantoin, phytantriol, extracts of green tea leaf, ginseng & awapuhi, natural preservative.

The conditioner does not lather or foam but it does really sink into the coat. I put conditioner on after I've rinsed the shampoo out and leave it in for 5-10 minutes. I brush the conditioner through the dog's coat with my rubber brush and continue to brush to remove the excess hair.

While Zoe soaks in conditioner, I clean her ears with the Ear Wipes!

Earthbath Ear Wipes Ingredients Include: Purified water, witch hazel, chamomilla recutita, cucumber extract, althaea officinalis root extract, citric acid, polysorbate, phenchem (natural preservative).

Earthbath Ear Wipes are a fast, convenient way for me to clean their ears. The product contains witch hazel which is a natural cleanser and astringent that helps to prevent ear infections. I like to wrap the ear wipe around my finger and gentle swab out the ear with my finger. The ear wipes are really big and one wipe works for both dogs, although I do switch to the opposite side when it's the other dog's turn.

I really like the products we received from Earthbath! The dogs smell great, their coats are shiny, soft and clean. They are shedding a lot less than they were. The products did not dry out their coats and they did not have any reactions or skin issues. The ear wipes work great, too! I love that all of their products are cruelty-free and safe for the environment. I have very sensitive skin and I am sensitive to smells and they didn't irritate my skin and I didn't get a headache from the scent because it's nice and mild.

I'm very happy and I would recommend checking Earthbath products out and giving them a try!

How often do you groom your pets?

ZoePhee was provided with samples from Earthbath in exchange for an honest review and we were not monetarily compensated. All opinions are our own. Earthbath is not responsible for the content of this blog post.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The forest is flooded and on the only sunny day, I got very lucky with some reflection photos!

I've always wanted to get photos like this! I'm so glad they turned out so neat! 

Note: These were taken before Zoe hurt her paw.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Getting It Together for Leash Walking!

Oh leash walking. How I wish it was easier to train with Zoe! Zoe is very environmental and nervous so it's not our most fun way to spend an afternoon. Zoe has a hard time focusing on keeping the leash loose because everything out in the world is so distracting and some things can even be a cause for concern! Phoenix is a lot better on leash and never got a chance to develop any bad habits even though she's generally great on leash by herself we still have some work to do with walking both of them together. They do tend to egg each other on when I walk them together and Zoe's anxiety rubs off on Phee. I would so much rather be training tricks or even training competition style heelwork than strapping a leash on my dogs and stopping every 2 seconds to "be a tree".

It's definitely not Zoe's fault that she pulls on leash, you see, I never fully committed to training her to walk well. For the first year and half she was with me, I used a flexi leash. I knew the hazards of using them but I thought that I was better than other dog owners because unlike most dogs my dog was trained. I could stop her on cue and have her come back to me. No problems at all there! She was under control. Yeah right. I was a little delusional and a lot dumb. I wish I could go back and give myself a stern talking-to. Flexi leads work by giving the dogs more lead when they pull. They pull and they get to go where they want and sniff all the things. So basically they get a huge reinforcement for pulling and it's the best thing ever because they get to where they want to go.

Fast forward a few more years and Zoe still struggles with leash walking because I allowed her to develop so many bad habits and didn't commit to fixing them. My excuse is that I got Phoenix and her issues were more important. It's a valid excuse and it is what it is.

One of the biggest problems with Zoe's leash walking is that she is very "environmental" and hyper vigilant. Certain places can cause her to be anxious and forget what she's supposed to be doing. We did take Deb Jones' "Focus" class through the Fenzi Academy and it was helpful. I am using some of her techniques to work on Zoe's issues. I would almost consider Zoe sort of reactive in the environment and I probably need to treat her more like a reactive dog. Just because she's not barking and lunging on the end of her leash doesn't mean she isn't fearful, she's just not "verbalizing" it.

To get really amazing loose leash walking you need a dog who is very gear aware, the dog also has to be aware of where they are in relation to you. They have to be taught what to do when they feel leash pressure and they need to know where they are supposed to be walking. It takes a ton of consistency to get loose leash walking and I struggle with it. I am planning to do some more posts on how to get your dog to be "gear aware" in the near future. These are all based in positive reinforcement, no leash corrections allowed. Any time the girls get a new harness to try out or a different length of leash they forget what they are supposed to do. Mostly just Zoe. Zoe also tries to get as far away from me as possible as a result of being allowed to wander around on the end of her flexi lead.

This year one of my goals is to really commit to Zoe and working with her on the issues she has. I will definitely have more posts about it soon and what we are doing to get the leash walking better! Right now I'm still resting Zoe for that paw thing that's going on so I'm going on walks with Phoenix only. The walks with Phoenix have been completely eye opening. She is nearly perfect on leash without her sister around! I will post more about that, too!

I will keep everyone updated on how everything is going.

What methods did you use (or are using) to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dog Park Etiquette Fail and a PSA

On Friday the sun finally came out and I took the girls to the park. We were running seriously low on new photos so I definitely wanted to get some and the girls got play time so it was a win-win situation. We did our thing, the girls ran around and I took photos. It started to get late so I took an exit trail to head back to the car. On the way back the girls decided to go look for bunnies in the blackberry bushes. It's not my favorite thing that they do but since we haven't been near those bushes in a while, I figured I'd let them check them out. 

While I'm standing there waiting for the girls to catch up, this lady comes up on me with two black labs and as she gets up to where we were, Zoe pops out of the bushes and she's clearly limping. The lady even saw her limping and definitely heard me exclaiming about it. "Oh No!!! Zoe what did you do!? Why are you LIMPING!?" The lady then allows her two labs to just be in my face. They were skittering around me, jumping on me and generally being labs which would of been fine if Zoe wasn't hurt.

The lady continues to meander and by meander I mean she is slowly wandering up the trail, still making no effort to get her dogs out of my space. At this point I probably should of said something to her but I was starting to get mad. I knew I wouldn't be able to be polite so I said nothing. She stops part of the way up the trail and starts playing with her phone!!! Meanwhile, Zoe is still limping around and I really need to get her back on leash and check her foot.

What seemed like 10 minutes later this woman is still not getting her dogs and I can't get to Zoe because her dogs will not stop bothering me. She's still playing with her phone.

Note: This photo was taken before she was injured!

I know I talk all the time about being a proactive owner and it's because it's so important. I know it's hard to always think of all the things our dogs might do but common sense does go a long ways.
Dogs when they are hurt are not always nice. If you see someone at a park and their dog is injured or if an injury happens right in front of you, it's so important to get your dogs and keep your dogs out of their way. The person really needs to be able to check their dog, get the dog on leash and leave. They can't do that if your dog is getting in the way. If one of her dogs had jumped on Zoe in that moment, Zoe might not have reacted well to it. When dogs are hurt they may become aggressive. Even though they didn't bother Zoe, they definitely impeded me from getting to her which could of led to further injury.

Eventually this woman figured out that I was getting pissed and she did come and finally get her dogs. I was able to get Zoe back on leash and we hobbled about a half a mile to the car, taking frequent breaks. I couldn't find anything in her paw and I didn't see any entry points for thorns. I ended up bringing her home and soaking her in a warm bath for 30 minutes. She's still a little gimpy when we go outside over the past few days but we are taking it easy and not doing anything too strenuous. I'm making her rest and I sort of think she bruised her paw on a rock or she could of tweaked it stepping in a hole. Her leg and paw is not swollen, there's no heat in it or anything. I can wiggle it around and she doesn't act painful. She also does not limp at all inside our apartment. I'm sure she will probably be fine but I will take her to the vet if this continues.

Have you ever had an annoying experience at the dog park?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Zoe Is So Creative! Dog Tricks!

Remember the "hug" trick that I showed everyone from yesterday? If you haven't seen it yet be sure to check it out because it's so cute: National Hug Day. Zoe is using her jump over trick to get out of the "hug" position when I recalled them! I love this photo so much that I actually squealed when I saw it in my viewfinder. I hope everyone thinks it's as cute as I do!

Happy B&W Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

We Missed National Hug Day! Sisters on Saturday

We are training the "hug" trick! When I start training a trick, I always start it inside with little to no distractions. Since the trick isn't finished, we accidentally missed National Hug Day, which was on Thursday. We finally got some better weather and I decided to try to practice the trick outside and get some photos of it!

Unfortunately, our weekend is not off to the greatest start. Right after I took the photo above, Zoe managed to hurt herself. I think she might of stepped on something because she was limping on her right paw. She seemed better last night but we are going to keep a close eye on it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Dark and Stormy Fit Dog Friday

Happy Fit Dog Friday everyone! This week we've had a lot of stormy weather and I was worried we were not going to be able to get very much "fit dog" stuff in. Luckily there was one day where it wasn't horribly wet and we went to a new park for hiking!

We hiked at Lacamas Lake and they have the neatest dam! The dogs were not that impressed but they were really brave while crossing it with us!

Here's a photo of the man made waterfall! The roar was almost deafening!

It was a pretty cold day and Zoe was not very cooperative for photos but we did manage to get a few pictures by sending her down the trail a ways and then calling her back. It's a bit of a trick I do to get some photos of her when she's being grumpy!

Here's Phoenix posing with the lake as her backdrop! 
 This was such a gorgeous park! I can't wait to go back another time!

I'm really hoping the weather clears up soon so we can get out and do more stuff! The dark grey days are kind of sucking the life out of me!

The dogs are wearing their Ultimate Warmers by Hurtta. A review and giveaway is forthcoming so keep an eye out for it! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Zoe Hates Puppies! A Photograhic Lesson In Canine Body Language

Double Trouble!

Today I have some photographs of canine body language to share with everyone! Zoe has always sort of disliked puppies, they are just not her thing. She thinks they are really annoying and after dealing with too many adolescent dogs who do not listen and are rude, she doesn't like putting up with them. We had a young puppy run up on us when we were hiking and these are some of the photos I got of them communicating with each other.

NOTE: This puppy ran up to us when his owner was all the way across the park and he was not under any sort of control. This is considered an off leash trail/park but dogs are supposed to be under voice control. The greeting between the dogs only lasted 5-10 seconds before my husband called our dogs away. I try to never put my dogs in situations where they will fail and because we know Zoe isn't thrilled with puppies we kept their interaction very brief. Luckily the puppy got the memo immediately and wanted to be my friend instead. 

You can totally see how clear Zoe is with the photo above. She was not thrilled with this stranger running up on us. Her eyes are kind of intense, she's got "whale eye" (the white part of her eye showing), she's got a bit of a mohawk on her butt and her tail is really high. She's clearly saying "you better not mess with me, kid!"

Phoenix is also pretty worried about the greeting, in the first photo she's pretty much "who the hell are you and what do you want" but she is a lot more tolerant of puppy shenanigans and calms down quickly. If you notice in the second photo, Phoenix has one paw raised and that is often a sign of anxiety and/or being unsure.

The puppy has great body language, too. He's telling both of my dogs that he is not a threat. His ears are back, he has whale eye and is body is a nice curve. His tail is also loose. 

In this shot you can see both Zoe and Phoenix's faces. They are clearly unimpressed with him. Phoenix has a bit of a whale eye, too! You can see the total change in the puppy when he spotted me! He's not showing any aggression with baring his teeth he's giving me what's called a "submissive grin". He really wanted to be my friend! His ears are back, he has whale eye and he's screaming "I'm not a threat, I'm friendly but a little nervous, will you be my friend?"

I'm so sad that I didn't get these photos completely in focus but I think you can see the differences in the puppy's body language pretty well! After dealing with those grumpy females, he spots me and he's completely relaxes, his eyes are soft and he's smiling at me.

Here's another adorable shot of this guy. I loved him and wanted to steal him! It's not very often that I find a dog who is good at communicating with my dogs and listening to what they are "saying" too. He was perfect!

My husband calls our dogs away and the puppy's owner makes an attempt at getting him back.

After the owner of the puppy finally collected him, you can see that Zoe was still listening for him. The owner was directly behind Zoe and sort of to the left. Her ear is back and she's paying attention to what is going on behind her. She also still has a butt mohawk but her tail has gone back to being more loose. You can also tell by looking at her face that she is still unimpressed. 

Once the puppy was gone and the doggie Dad broke out some treats, the girls were much happier! 

I think dog body language is fascinating and it's so important for us as owners to be able to tell what our dogs are saying! If you would like to learn more about dog body language, Modern Canine Training made a great video on the subject: Understanding Dog Body Language (Zoe and Phoenix make a cameo at the end). I would recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beauty After The Rain!

I think the sky after a good rain is one of my favorite things about Oregon. We are hoping for another day like this one in the photo above. It's been nonstop raining for too long! 

How is the weather where you are?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Reward Based Dog Training Really Works!

Zoe, recalling off hunting bunnies.

We've all heard that saying "the proof is in the pudding", right? Well it's really true. It's hard to believe someone about something unless you see the thing for yourself. Reward-based training really works and here are some photos to prove it.

The first photo is of Zoe. She's recalling off hunting the rabbits in the field. When I first got this dog, she could not recall off any prey. I honestly wish I had a video of the day the training really started to stick and of the conflicting reinforcers. Everything is about motivation and reinforcement. She was sitting at the fence watching the squirrels when I recalled her. She wanted to come to me, I could see how conflicted she really was and she also wanted those squirrels. In the end she did make the right choice. I'm really glad those days of conflict are over. She has learned that if she listens when I call her the chances are pretty high that I will release her back to what she was doing. (premack)

Happy Girl!

The thing I would like you to notice about these photos is that she's recalling happily. Sure, I could of strapped a shock collar to her neck and trained her that way and probably gotten similar results but I highly doubt she would be happy about it. That's the thing about forceful dog training, it's not fun for the dogs and it's also painful. (Anyone who tells you a shock collar doesn't hurt is lying. If it didn't hurt it wouldn't work.)

What Not To Do To Your Best Friend and Why - Kikopup

When you give the dogs a choice they are so much happier to do the thing for you and to keep doing the thing for you. I would much rather my dog recall with a big smile on her face than come back because she had no other choice. I feel that positive reinforcement is the best way to get really reliable behaviors because the dog wants to work with me and it's so much fun!

Phoenix poses with ducks!

You may have seen this photo from yesterday's post. Phoenix is posing with some ducks. No one is holding her leash. She could of turned around and eaten those ducks if she wanted to because they are only about 3 feet from her. She was not given her "leave it" cue, either. She's been reinforced so much for looking at the camera that ducks do not matter any more and she didn't need any cues. This dog has a lot of prey drive, she is no slouch! She doesn't care about the prey because she knows better stuff comes from me and I'm more fun than those ducks. I was so proud of her!

I'm pretty sure everyone has experienced moments of frustration and we are no different. I've had moments where I have wavered on using positive reinforcement and I've had moments of doubt but I am so happy that I've stuck with it. They are not perfect and sometimes they do make mistakes but it's okay and we've learned from each one. Training takes time and patients but it's definitely worth it!

Now it's your turn, tell me in the comments how you and your dogs have been impacted by positive reinforcement! What has your dog done to make your proud? 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Do You Ever Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Do you ever feel like you're being watched? 

.... or maybe followed?

I think they're still there!!!

Phoenix was photobombed by an adorable group of ducks looking for snacks. Unfortunately, I don't carry duck food on me. These little guys got so close to us and they had no fear of the dogs. The dogs were really good and didn't care about them at all. No one is holding Phoenix's leash in either of these photos. 

Have your dogs ever been photobombed by wild animals before? This was a first for us!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


It's really rare that I capture Phoenix looking at something else. On this day, there was another hiker and a dog coming our way. Phoenix has to keep an eye on other dogs because they could be big and scary. Usually she will stare right into the camera for me!

The colored version is too pretty to not share. :D

 Do your dogs like to pose for the camera?

Also, I just signed up for a snapchat account and it's "ZoePheeDogs" if anyone wants to follow us. 
I'm using it as a "behind the scenes" sort of thing. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Feeling The Love! Sisters on Saturday

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for leaving me so many supportive comments! 
I really appreciate it and I plan on responding to everyone. 
We are feeling the love! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2016

We All Make Mistakes and The Elephant In The Room.


You guys may have noticed that I didn't participate in the blogger challenge. This year it just didn't feel right to me. I've been feeling down more than I'd really like to admit and I wasn't sure I had much advice to offer.

I'm happy that you guys are all here with me on this journey. 2015 was a pretty good year for the blog, even if I personally didn't have the best year (more on that in a bit). I feel like I have the best followers anyone could have. You guys are always so kind to me. The blogging community has been a second family to me and it's been wonderful. I've hardly ever received a bad comment and I've never received a nasty email. I really appreciate it. We also acquired some amazing sponsors which was also awesome and very fun. The dogs love trying new stuff and I'm always excited to share things with everyone.

That being said, we all make mistakes and I wanted to say that if anyone felt like I was trying to say I was perfect or my dogs were perfect or if you felt that my post about "It's Not About Being Alpha" was condescending, then I'm sorry. That was not my intention and we are far from perfect. I've screwed up a lot and my dogs are definitely not perfect. They are great house dogs for the most part but they both have their quirks. The point of the post was that the training I do isn't because I think I need to be alpha, it's just about keeping everyone safe. I never meant to put anyone down if they've had an accident with their dogs. Dogs are dogs and sometimes they do really dumb things. People are forgetful sometimes. Family members who are not dog savvy visit. Stuff happens. If I can help you manage your dogs better and show you what I do to keep mine from getting into stuff then that's what I want to try to do but I didn't mean to make anyone feel bad.

One of the things that's always bothered me about the online world is that some people have "personas" that they put out there. They have a whole fake online world and when you meet them or get to know them better and you are totally blown away by how different they are from what you thought. I don't ever want anyone to think that about me. I want this blog to be as real as possible. When you come here you know that I'm not screwing with you and this is life, real life. That is why I never write about things that I don't have first hand experience with. So for the blogger challenge my one huge piece of advice is to just be real with people, be yourself and write about whatever you love.

So this is me being real. I'm a crossover trainer and I used to rely on punishment. For a very long time, my first instinct was to immediately punish anything an animal did that I didn't like. It didn't matter if that animal had the tools to know what they should be doing or should not be doing. It was just do whatever to make that animal stop doing whatever "bad" behavior they were displaying. I've learned a lot since those days and I think I've come along way. I still have more to learn, though and I never plan on stopping. I regularly read books and watch seminars on training and behavior. One of the major differences between back then and now is that I really care about giving my dogs the tools they need to know what they are supposed to be doing, which was what I was trying to convey in my other post. I'm human and sometimes I still make mistakes, especially when I don't feel well.

When my dogs pull on the leash, it hurts me and my first instinct is to jerk the leash. When I'm have a Ménière's attack and the world is spinning around, normal every day activities are very hard to accomplish. Between the balance issues, the nausea and pain in my ears things can get bad really fast. I have to actively make sure that I don't jerk leashes or use any other sort of aversive. I'm working really hard to remain patient, even when I don't feel well. I'm not perfect at all but I keep trying to get better. I work with my dogs and I work on myself. I try to make training as fun as possible for my dogs. Things aren't always rainbows and butterflies but we make it work. I love troubleshooting behavior and trying new things. I'm always thinking about what I can do to make something better or what I wish I had done differently and what I'm going to do differently next time. Nobody is perfect and I hope you never think I'm trying to say that I am because I'm really not.

Now let's talk about the major elephant in the room. It's the only thing that I have not shared with you. It wasn't meant to be a secret or anything and I always planned on writing about it. I just wasn't ready to talk about it yet. It's the one thing that I've had the hardest time with last year and it's the one thing that keeps me up at night. Let's talk about my cat, Hurley.

This is my absolutely favorite photo of Hurley.

I got a ton of comments on Pandora's "Gotcha Day" post about how no one ever knew I had any cats. I used to write about them more regularly. In fact, I was thinking about starting a second blog just for the cats. In March of last year, I removed all of  the cat profiles from the blog when we made the agonizing decision to rehome Hurley. Let me tell you how much rehoming him absolutely sucked. The day he left, I could not stop crying and I have cried pretty much the whole year on and off. I feel like I completely failed him. I hate that we had to rehome him and still to this day, I'm having a really hard time with it. When I adopted Hurley, I had every intention of keeping him for the rest of his life and it makes me so sad that we couldn't do it. Every time I see one of those "I'm a Forever Pet" memes on facebook, I cry some more.

We have always had problems with Hurley. He is a big boy of around 15lbs and we noticed right away that he had issues when we first got him. We figured everything would get worked out eventually. He just needed more time to settle in. We waited several years for him to settle in and "calm down". Things progressively went downhill with him. He would randomly attack my other cats and he started attacking the dogs. The attacks became more frequent as time went on. I tried to work with him, I even trained him to do some tricks. I own all the cat behavior books by Pam Johnson-Bennett and several other authors. I read them religiously and implemented a lot of Pam's ideas and strategies for dealing with a problem cat. I could probably do Jackson Galaxy's job with everything I learned about cats in the time of having them. Things never got better and when I tell you we tried everything, I mean it. We even had him on RX anti-depressants to help with his stress and anxiety.

Hurley was putting holes into Pandora. He was twice her weight and he would hold her down and bite her. At one point right before we ended up rehoming him, he ripped out a lot of the fur on her belly and she also had abscesses from him getting a hold of her. Like I mentioned above, he also went after Lilly and the dogs, to the point where the dogs were too scared to walk past him. Zoe started lashing out at him because he would just walk right up to her and bite her, even when she was sleeping. We were never sure why he would do this and it was always out of the blue. One minute he was okay and the next someone was screaming. He was always fine with people, though.

You start to look at things a lot differently when one of your pets is putting holes in your other pets. When the stress level is so high and all of your furkids are on edge. I was on edge. I never knew when he was going to attack someone. I never wanted any of this to happen and I definitely did not want to rehome my cat. It was also effecting my marriage.

I always said that I would never live the crate and rotate lifestyle. It's just not something I ever wanted to have to deal with. I was so careful when I selected Phoenix because I wanted to make sure I would never have to segregate anyone. "That lifestyle is just not for me", I would tell anyone and everyone who asked. That's a pretty laughable thing, since we were pretty much doing that with our cats. Things got harder when we moved into the one bedroom apartment. It became more and more difficult to keep everyone out of each others space and keep the peace. After their last altercation, another abscess for Pandora, the decision was made for me. We just could not deal with it anymore.

I truly believe that Hurley was not a happy boy with us. The happiest I've ever seen him was when we lived with my inlaw's and he had the whole downstairs section of the house to himself. I knew after seeing him like that he would be happier being the only pet. I really wish it could of gone differently and I am so incredibly sad that we had to find him a new home. I think we did the best thing for him and our other pets, even though it was hard. I miss him every day and he was very loved. I'm thankful he was in my life for the time he was. I learned so much from him.

Lilly and Pandora

The stress level in our house has gotten a lot better than it was. The other two cats have completely calmed down. It was actually amazing to see how quiet the house was and how chill everyone has become. Lilly does have behavioral issues, too. She bites us and I plan to talk more about what I'm doing about it. I'm going to work on including Pandora and Lilly more in the blog. They are a big part of our adventures, even though the main theme is revolving around my dogs.

So that's about it and as real as it gets. We all make mistakes and we all screw up. Things are not always perfect. I haven't had an easy past year (not only with Hurley but some other family drama, too), I'm really hopeful this year will be better.

If there's anything you'd like to see more of from me on the blog let me know! I'm hoping to get better with filming videos and I would really like to make some training tutorials. I hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for sticking with us!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Treat Yourself to a Pro Treat Bag from Hurtta

Hurtta, Hurtta Collection, Hurtta Pro Treat Bag, Dog Treat Bags

Every dog enthusiast needs an amazing treat bag and I've been searching for the best one for a long time. I think I might have found it! Today I have a really awesome treat bag to share with you! This is the Pro Treat Bag from Hurtta! This treat bag was originally designed and developed for professional dog trainers but I think it would be an amazing bag for any dog lover who's into training or dog sports. We were sent a Pro Treat Bag in exchange for an honest review.


The first thing I noticed about this bag is how stylish it looks. It looks more like a "dog purse" than a fanny pack. It is really well made, for heavy duty use but light enough that Zoe could pick it up and carry it around for photos. This is a high capacity treat bag and it can hold up to 17 ounces of treats!  You can even put sticky treats in there, although I generally try to keep mine in a ziploc bag so I don't have to wash the treat bag very often. The treat bag is machine washable, though!

The bag dimensions are 9x6 and it has a "clamshell" hinge opening for the main pocket. The hinge feels very sturdy. It's easy enough for a person to open or close it but the dogs can't get into the bag and steal treats at all. Zoe is a master mind at getting into stuff and if she can't open it, your dog probably won't be able to either, although I wouldn't leave it around to test that theory out. The outer shell is made with that same tough Houndtex fabrics that all the other Hurtta gear is made with. I can really tell that this bag was built to last.

The Pro Treat Bag also has 3M reflectors just like all the other Hurtta gear so you will be visible and safe if you're training or even walking dogs in the dark.

The bag has a velcro close front pocket with a slot for waist bags and it also has a zipper closure on the back for your keys or other items. They've also included a fireman's snap hook on the side for clipping on extra things. I really like the velcro pocket in the front. I've been stashing my camera's lens cap in there along with my poop bags. I haven't lost anything out of it yet! I can tell the velcro they used is very high quality. The back zipper pocket is pretty great, too but it's a little small which is the only thing I'd change about the bag.

You can either use the sturdy nylon belt that comes with the bag or you can clip it to your pants with the clip. I have to say this is probably the best clip on bag I've ever used. My other clip on bags have cut into my skin. This one is smooth and it doesn't hurt me. The belt that comes with it is super adjustable and I really like it for when I'm wearing a heavy coat in winter. I just clip it on around me with the belt instead of using the plastic clip.

A good treat bag is worth it's weight in gold and this is a great bag. It's very well made, it's holds a ton of treats and various other times. It's also doing really well in the horrible rainy weather we have been having! I really like it. I'm thinking about getting a second one for my husband!

The Pro Treat Bag comes in various colors and I would definitely recommend checking it out!

If the Pro Treat Bag is too big for you, Hurtta does make a smaller one and you can find it here: Hurtta Junior Treat Bag

You can find retailers for Hurtta by going here: Hurtta Stockists and I would also recommend checking Hurtta out and following them on facebook.

ZoePhee was sent a Pro Treat Bag from Hurtta in exchange for an honest review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are my own. Hurtta is not responsible for the content of this blog post.